Posts for tag: dental implants

By James P. Watts, DMD
November 09, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental ImplantsHave you been thinking about replacing missing teeth with dental implants but have a few questions about the process? The latest restoration options offer several benefits that can make it an appealing choice. Mystic, CT, dentist Dr. James Watts helps his patients care for and improve their smiles with dental implants and other treatments.

How do dental implants work?

Dental implants are designed to become a permanent part of your jawbone. The titanium posts replace your natural tooth roots and are placed in small openings made in the bone. Once in place, the posts begin to osseointegrate, or bond, to your jawbone. Osseointegration ensures that your synthetic root can provide a stable foundation for the dental crown that will be attached to it.

After the crown is attached, your new tooth will act just like your natural teeth. You'll be able to eat anything you want and won't experience any slippage or irritation, even if you take a bite of a hard apple or enjoy a juicy steak.

Are implants the best choice for me?

Before you make your decision, you'll need to consider a few factors, including:

  • Longevity: Dental implants usually never need to be replaced, unlike bridges and dentures. If you're looking for a long-term replacement option, implants are an excellent choice. Keep in mind that you will need to replace the crowns on top of the implants approximately every 10 to 15 years due to wear.
  • Versatility: Implants are the only restoration option that can replace an unlimited number of lost teeth. If you've lost all of your teeth, you may want to consider implant-supported dentures. The dentures can be secured with as few as four implants per arch.
  • Biting Power: Unlike removable dentures, implant-supported dentures don't significantly reduce your biting power or limit your food choices.
  • Strength: Without stimulation from your roots, your jawbone will eventually begin to shrink. This shrinkage, called resorption, can cause your teeth to drift, lead to further tooth loss and even cause facial sagging. Dental implants provide the constant stimulation needed to prevent resorption.
  • Depth: Your Mystic dentist considers jawbone depth when deciding if you're a good candidate for dental implants. If your bone is too shallow, it won't be able to support the implants. In many cases, adding bone grafts to your jawbone will increase the depth and allow implants to be placed.

Restore your smile with dental implants! Call your Mystic, CT, dentist Dr. James Watts at (860) 536-6446 to schedule an appointment.

By James P. Watts, DMD
September 10, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental Implant Diagram

What your dentist in Mystic, CT, wants you to know about dental implants

You’ve probably heard about dental implants, but you may not know exactly what they are and how they can help you and your smile. Dr. James P. Watts in Mystic, CT, wants to share the facts about dental implants and what they can do for you.

If you are missing teeth, it can impact your ability to chew, which in turn can impact your digestion. Digestive problems can cause problems with your overall health. The digestive process begins in your mouth, so having a full set of teeth can help keep you healthy.

Despite your best efforts, you may lose teeth. Whether you lose a single tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants provide you with the closest possible solution to natural teeth.

Dental implant treatment begins with the placement of a dental implant screw, which will perform the function of a tooth “root” serving as an anchor in your jaw. Over time, your body forms additional bone, which will fuse around the implant screw and lock it firmly in place. After the healing period, a sparkling dental implant crown is placed over the implant screw, and you have a new addition to your smile.

People choose dental implants instead of bridges, partials, or dentures because dental implants are:

  • Convenient; you never take them out, and you can brush and floss them along with your natural teeth.
  • Stable; they will never move around because they are firmly embedded in bone.
  • Naturally beautiful; the implant crown is made of light-reflective materials that mimic the appearance of natural tooth enamel.
  • Long-lasting; with proper care, they should last a lifetime and they will never decay. They also resist stains, so they will stay beautiful for years.

Dental implants are also the most successful surgical implants, with a success rate in excess of 95% according to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. To find out more about dental implants, seek out an expert. Call Dr. James P. Watts in Mystic, CT. Get started on a new, beautiful smile by calling today!

By James P. Watts, DMD
May 22, 2018
Category: Oral Health
WhyYouShouldStillFlosswithanImplant-SupportedBridge

Losing teeth to tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease is never easy. But with implant-supported bridgework, you can regain lost function and appearance with a restoration that could last for many years.

Don’t think, though, that dental disease woes are a thing of the past with your new implants. Although your restoration itself can’t be infected, the supporting gums and underlying bone can, often through bacterial plaque accumulating around the implants. The bone that supports the implants could deteriorate, dramatically increasing your chances of losing your restoration.

It’s essential, then, that you keep the area between the bridge and gums clean of plaque through daily hygiene. This definitely includes flossing around the implants.

Flossing with an implant-supported bridge will be different than with natural teeth: instead of flossing between teeth you’ll need to thread the floss between the bridge and gums. Although this is a bit more difficult, it can be done with the help of a floss threader, a device with a loop on one end and a long, thin plastic point on the other—similar to a sewing needle.

To use it, thread about 18” of floss through the loop and then pass the threader’s thin end first through the space between the bridge and gums toward the tongue until the floss threader pulls through. You can then take hold of one end of the floss and then pull the threader completely out from beneath the bridge. Then, you wrap the ends around your fingers as you would normally and thoroughly floss the implant surfaces you’re accessing. You then release one end of the floss, pull out the remainder, rethread it in the threader and repeat the process in the next space between implants.

You also have other hygiene tool options: prefabricated floss with stiffened ends that thread through the bridge-gum space that you can use very easily; or you can purchase an interproximal brush that resembles a pipe cleaner with thin plastic bristles to access the space and brush around the implants.

Some patients also find an oral irrigator, a handheld device that sprays a pressurized stream of water to loosen and flush away plaque, to be an effective way of keeping this important area clean. But that said, oral irrigators generally aren’t as effective removing dental plaque as are floss or interproximal brushes.

Whatever flossing method you choose, the important thing is to choose one and practice it every day. By keeping bacterial plaque from building up around your implants, you’ll help ensure you won’t lose your restoration to disease, so it can continue to serve you for many years to come.

If you would like more information on caring for your dental work, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By James P. Watts, DMD
January 15, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Do you have missing teeth? You can get your smile back with dental implants. Dental implants are the gold standard for the replacement of dental implantsmissing teeth. Dental implants are root-like structures made of titanium. Dr. James Watts is one of the finest dentists in Mystic, CT. He offers a complete range of dental services, including dental implants. Here are five smart reasons to consider dental implants.

1. Improve Your Look

By replacing your missing teeth, you will enhance your appearance and take years off your look. Dental implants are the next best thing to healthy, natural teeth. Dental implants look like real teeth. Don't you owe it to yourself to get your beautiful smile back?

2. Easier Eating

When you are missing teeth, eating can be a challenge. The ability to chew food improves dramatically with dental implants. With implants, you will be able to eat the foods you have previously avoided because of your missing teeth.

3. Prevent Teeth Shifting

When you lose a tooth, the neighboring teeth begin to shift at an accelerated rate. It can be disheartening and frightening for patients to see their teeth drifting out place. Dental implants can close the gaps in your smile and prevent your healthy, natural teeth from drifting out of place.

4. Improved Speech

Missing teeth can affect your ability to speak. Even a few missing teeth can lead to mumbling and slurred speech. Dentures can also move around in the mouth, resulting in mumbling and slurred speech. Dental implants can improve your speech and allow you to feel confident when speaking in public. And no more worrying that your denture might slip.

5. Stop Jawbone Loss

A healthy jawbone is important in order to support your teeth properly. Leaving a missing tooth unreplaced can lead to loss of bone in the jaw. The bone in the jaw is preserved through the pressure and stimulus of chewing. Implants are the only tooth replacement option that stops bone loss. Consult with your dentist in Mystic, CT, to find out if dental implants are right for you.

Want a great life? Start with your smile. Call our dental office at (860) 536-6446 now to schedule a dental consultation with Dr. James Watts in Mystic, CT. Dental implants will give you the freedom to enjoy life again.

YoucanStillhaveImplantswithDiabetes-ifyouhaveitunderControl

If you're one of the more than 26 million people in the U.S. with diabetes, you know first hand how the disease impacts your life. That includes your dental health — and whether or not implants are a good tooth replacement option for you.

Diabetes is actually the name for a group of diseases affecting how your body processes glucose, a simple sugar that provides energy for the body's cells. The level of glucose in the blood is regulated by insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas. Diabetes causes the pancreas to either stop producing insulin (Type 1) or not produce enough (Type 2). Also in Type 2, the body can become unresponsive to the insulin produced.

The implications for either type are serious and can be life-threatening. If glucose levels are chronically too low or high the patient could eventually go blind, suffer nerve damage, or develop kidney disease. Diabetes also interferes with wound healing and creates a greater susceptibility for gangrene: diabetics thus have a higher risk for losing fingers, toes and limbs, and can even succumb to coma or death.

Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes. Fortunately, most people with this type can effectively manage it through diet, exercise and regular glucose monitoring; if need be, prescription medication can help regulate their levels. Even so, diabetics with their disease under control must still be alert to slower wound healing and a higher risk of infection.

Because implant placement is a minor surgical procedure, the aspects of diabetes related to healing, infection and inflammation could have an adverse impact on the ultimate success of the placement. Implant surgery creates a wound in the surrounding gum tissues and bone that will need to heal; the body's immune response in a diabetic can interfere with that process. And if infection sets in, the risks of implant failure increase.

But research has shown that diabetics with good glucose management have as high a success rate (over 95% after ten years) as non-diabetic patients. That means the implant option is a viable one for you as a diabetic — but only if you have your disease under control.

If you would like more information on the relationship between dental implants and other health conditions, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.